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Petition to hire school resource officer dead in Newfound school district

BRISTOL — Newfound Area School District school board members want residents to know that they did their best to bring a police officer into the school system as a school resource officer.

But because of a change made by residents at a deliberative session, that’s likely not going to happen this year.

“There is no more important issue of concern to both me and this board than the safety and security of our students and staff,” said board Chairman Vincent Paul Migliore of Bridgewater. “That’s why I support the addition of a school resource officer to our district.”

Warrant Article 6 had asked the district for $51,840 for a school resource officer for Newfound Regional High School. The officer would have been available to support all schools within the district and would have been employed for the school year at that rate, which is for a partial year.

But at the Feb. 10 deliberative session, the article was amended by residents to reduce its funding to zero.

The school board split its vote at the original funding level of $51,840 on the article by a vote of 3-3-1, and thus failed to recommend it, with board members from Bristol, Danbury and New Hampton opposing it, and Bridgewater, Alexandria and Groton voted in favor.

Hebron’s board member abstained, resulting in the tie, which means support for the article failed.

The district’s budget committee opposed the article unanimously.

At the deliberative session, the board revisited its vote on the zero-funded amended article, but once again failed to support it, with Danbury voting in favor of zero-funding. Bridgewater voted to oppose the zero-funded amendment, and the remaining five members of the board abstained, which resulted in the board’s failure to recommend the amended article.

When residents vote on March 11, Article 6 will be dead on the ballot.

“No matter whether the voters decide to support or defeat the article, because it was amended to zero dollars, the board cannot implement the assignment because it would be approved with no funding.

By definition, if defeated, it would also not be implemented,” Migliore said.

District residents will vote on a $21.8 million budget proposal.

Also on the ballot is a new three-year teacher contract. The school board voted 6-1 in favor of the contract. New Hampton’s board member voted against it. The budget committee opposed the new contract unanimously.

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